Jackson State University starting quarterback Clayton Moore said that his team preached before the game that Grambling was the team to beat.
And JSU did just that Saturday afternoon in Eddie Robinson Stadium. They beat Grambling -badly- with a final score of 53-17.
“This was a personal game,” said Moore who finished completing 12 of 18 passes for 257 yards and two touchdowns.
This game was personal because Jackson not only wanted to beat Grambling for the second time since 2006, but also they wanted keep their Southwestern Athletic Conference championship aspirations alive, especially now that they are cleared for post season play.
Grambling scored the first points of the game with a 37-yard field goal from Phares Wabo at the 10:26 mark of the first quarter.
After that Jackson State’s scoring onslaught began. The Tigers of Jackson State scored seven consecutive times before Grambling could answer.
“It’s hard to win when you’re not as consistent as you’d like to be on either side of the ball,” said Grambling’s head coach Doug Williams.
At the 7:54 mark of the first quarter, Moore completed a pass to red shirt sophomore Michael Perkins, which resulted in a 21-yard touchdown, the point after try was no good. Later in the first quarter at the 1:46 mark, red shirt sophomore Rakeem Sims rushed in a three- yard touchdown and a successful field goal made the score 13-3 at the end of the first.
Jackson State kept piling up points. In the second quarter Jackson state found the end zone three times beginning with junior running back Tommy Gooden rushing in a six-yard touchdown at the 11:58 mark extending Jackson’s lead to 19-3.
JSU’s defense was also in on the scoring rampage. At the 8:37 mark, starting sophomore quarterback D.J. Williams, who made his return after missing last game with a hip injury, faced heavy pressure from a host of JSU’s lineman. He was forced to scramble to in hopes of mainking a play. Rather than making a play, Williams threw an ill-advised pass that was intercepted by Ryan Griffin who returned it for a 58- yard touchdown to make the score 26-3. Williams finished with completing eight of 18 passes for 174 yards and one interception.
On JSU’s ensuing drive, Moore completed a 19-yard touchdown pass to Rico Richardson for the final points of the half.
At the start of the second half, Jackson came out firing. On their first drive of the half starting at their own 35 yard line, Moore led JSU down the field completing three of three passes for 67 yards and Sims capped the drive by finding his way back in the end zone for a two -yard touchdown.
Jackson State’s very next drive also resulted in a touchdown. Freshman full back Stedmon Capler rushed in a four-yard touchdown to make the score 46-3.
The G-Men then tightened the score in the third quarter with back-to-back scores.
First at the 3:01 mark, senior linebacker Edward Patterson returned a kick return for 94-yards to make the score 46-10 after a successful kick from Wabo. Then at the 1:01 mark, JSU’s senior back-up quarterback Dedric McDonald couldn’t shake Trey Williams as he forced him to fumble and junior weak side defensive end Phillip McClain recovered the ball in the end zone for a touchdown. Wabo kicked home another field goal which made the score 46-17.
Jackson’s last points came at the 6:53 mark of the fourth quarter with Capler catching a 11-yard pass from McDonald.
The 53 points scored by Jackson State was the most points Grambling allowed by a SWAC opponent since 1998 when Jackson State scored 68 points and Arkansas Pine-Bluff scored 54.
The G-Men will drop to 1-8 overall and will remain winless in the SWAC 0-7.
“This is the worst feeling in the world,” said Patterson.
Next Saturday, the G-men will face (7-2) Arkansas-Pine Bluff, the SWAC Division leader. Kick off time is at 2 p.m. in the Eddie Robinson Stadium.